TrackInsight reports crypto beat out gold in March ETF data

Anaelle Ulbadino, TrackInsight

March data from the TrackInsight ETF analysis platform reveals that while the ETF industry continues to hit new assets under management records, investors are slowing down the pace of ESG investments.  

The firm reports that over March, ESG ETFs attracted USD11.3 billion in new assets, a significant slowdown compared to the USD19 billion of flows recorded in February and the USD18 billion of flows recorded in January. 15 new ESG ETFs were launched in March, the firm says, bringing the total to 629 funds managing a collective USD227 billion of assets. 

Bitcoin ETFs witnessed another huge month for flows with investors adding USD493 million of assets over March. This is the second highest month on record for bitcoin ETF flows, beaten only by the USD778 million of flows seen in February 2021, TrackInsight says. There are now 15 ETFs tracking bitcoin – up from just eight at the start of the year.  

The 96 gold ETFs listed around the world have seen assets drop significantly from their December highs, falling from USD208 billion in assets to just USD175 billion, according to TrackInsight. Over March, investors pulled USD6.4 billion from the sector – the second consecutive month of negative flows.      

Thematic ETFs continue to dominate the top performers of the year with Cannabis-related ETFs taking four of the top 10 spots. ETFs tracking the energy, oil and gas segments have also been strong performers this year, returning upwards of 40 per cent, TrackInsight says. 

Anaelle Ubaldino (pictured), Head of ETF Research and Investment Advisory at TrackInsight says: “As ETFs become more mainstream around the globe, looking at ETF flows can provide an incredible window into the minds of investors. Our March stats show that the appetite for ETFs remains strong. It was a slow month for ESG ETFs, but the industry remains on track to reach USD10 trillion of AuM this year. Investors are switching away from Gold and into Bitcoin ETFs, which grew by 35 per cent over March to reach USD6.7 Billion of AuM. If and when a Bitcoin ETF finally launches in the US, we expect it to unleash a tidal wave of retail money that would dwarf these figures and put cryptocurrencies on a course to be a significant force for ETF market growth.” 

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